Why is it that fake news is increasingly more insightful than the real news? The Onion (April 13) comes through with “another hilarious satire on the mad logic of market culture. “Cost of Living Now Outweighs Benefits” describes how the Federal Consumer Quality-of-Life Control Board has concluded that “for the first time, we have statistical evidence of what we’ve suspected for the past 40 years: Life really isn’t worth living.” The article continues:
“To arrive at their conclusions, study directors first identified the average yearly costs and benefits of life. Tangible benefits such as median income ($43,000) were weighed against such tangible costs as home-ownership ($18,000). Next, scientists assigned a financial value to such intangibles such as finding inner peace ($15,000), establishing emotional closeness with family members ($3,000), and brief moments of joy ($5 each). Taken together, the study results indicate that “it is unwise to go on living.”
The Onion goes on to report, “Child-rearing, a course taken by many people who choose to live, is actually contributing to the problem. The fact is, the supply of Americans greatly outstrips demand,” said Evan Alvi of the Portland-based Maynard Institute. “Americans seem to believe that minting more lives will increase the value of their holdings. All they are doing, though, is inflating the supply and reducing the dividends paid by long-term familial bonds.”
All of this reminds me: How come the cost-benefit czar at OMB, Robert Graham, has not yet performed a cost-benefit analysis of the various anti-terrorism measures, including the Iraqi War? Surely the costs outweigh the benefits.